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Mad Max / one sheet / UK

03.04.13

Poster Poster
Title
Mad Max
AKA
Interceptor (Italy)
Year of Film
1979
Director
George Miller
Starring
Mel Gibson, Steve Bisley, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Tim Burns, Geoff Parry
Origin of Film
Australia
Genre(s) of Film
Mel Gibson, Steve Bisley, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Tim Burns, Geoff Parry,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Tom Beauvais
Artist
Tom Beauvais
Size (inches)
27" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The last law in a world gone out of control. Pray he's out there somewhere.

George Miller‘s brilliant vision of an apocalyptic future set in the Australian wastelands follows the battle between vicious outlaw gangs and a group of Main Force Patrol (MFP) pursuit cops who try to keep law and order on the roads. When officer Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson in his breakout role) kills the ‘Nightrider’, the leader of a motorcycle gang, he sets in motion a chain of events that sees his wife and young son murdered and his partner burned alive. Driven mad by grief, Max commandeers a supercharged black Pursuit Special and sets out to avenge their deaths by whatever means necessary. The film was followed three years later by the superior Mad Max 2 (AKA The Road Warrior).

Because of Gibson’s anonymity to audiences outside Australia his face was not featured on many of the posters designed to sell the film in other territories. The American one sheet features a classic illustration of a leather-clad figure with his face covered by a futuristic visor. This British quad features an MFP figure pointing a shotgun directly at the viewer but it’s not obviously Mel Gibson’s character. The car below the figure is a hybrid between the colourful Interceptor cop vehicles and Max’s black Pursuit.

This UK one sheet was designed and illustrated by Tom Beauvais, a British artist with a lengthy career working in film marketing which saw him design and/or illustrate several notable posters, including the quad for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and the infamous ‘rotten hand bursting from the ground’ image for Lucio Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters. In 2012 I was lucky enough to meet and interview Tom and the article can be read here. The Mad Max poster was discussed during the meeting:

———

You worked on one of my favourite film posters at the end of the 1970s, which is the one for Mad Max. Could you talk about designing that?
On that one we were working to a brief from Julian Senior at Warner Bros and he told us he wanted a policeman looking down the twin-barrels of a shotgun. I did an initial sketch of the figure with the car below and he responded really well to it. The praise was generous and I think it was probably because it had been his idea originally. I actually think that Mike Sparling, who I mentioned earlier, was used as a reference model for the policeman.

It’s a striking poster and made even more impressive by the fact that the illustration isn’t crowded out by too much text. It’s effective partly because it’s so minimal.

———

As well as this UK one sheet there was a British quad poster printed for the title that was designed by Beauvais and features the same artwork. The quad is also part of the Film on Paper collection and it can be viewed here.

Mad Max 2 / program / Japan

20.11.17

Poster Poster
Title
Mad Max 2
AKA
The Road Warrior (USA) | Interceptor, il guerriero della strada (Italy)
Year of Film
1981
Director
George Miller
Starring
Mel Gibson, Michael Preston, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells, Kjell Nilsson, Virginia Hey, Emil Minty
Origin of Film
Australia
Genre(s) of Film
Mel Gibson, Michael Preston, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells, Kjell Nilsson, Virginia Hey, Emil Minty,
Type of Poster
Program
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
8 4/16" x 11 12/16"
SS or DS
--
Tagline
--

This is the original cinema program that was sold at Japanese screenings of George Miller’s unforgettable Mad Max 2 (AKA The Road Warrior). The first film in the post-apocalyptic franchise was released in Australia in 1979 and worldwide the following year, where it went on to gross over $100m. The original budget was around $400k so for decades it held the record for the most profitable film ever made. The US release had been relatively small in terms of the number of cinemas so the decision was taken to rename the sequel as The Road Warrior there. The UK, Japan and other countries received it as Mad Max 2.

The film ups the ante considerably from the first film and sees Max (Mel Gibson) roaming the desert in his black supercharged V8 special, mourning the death of his family and searching for fuel and food. After a chance encounter on the road he ends up at a compound full of fuel which is under siege by a gang of marauders, led by the masked madman Lord Humungus. Eventually Max is tasked with leading the group to safety via an armoured convoy, which includes armoured tankers. The chase is incredibly thrilling and one of the most memorable action sequences ever filmed. The 2015 quasi-sequel Fury Road dials up the action even more and was a welcome return to the world of Mad Max.

Note that this program features details about the production, the director and several of the actors. It also contains a poster with artwork by the late, great Noriyoshi Ohrai (see last picture). This is the only place that the artwork was available – no actual cinema-used poster was printed featuring the art. The regular Japanese B2 poster is a photographic montage, which is near enough the same as this program, that can be seen on this site here.

I visited an exhibition of Ohrai’s work in Japan in 2014 and a report can be seen here. Other posters I have by him can be seen here.

Mad Max / one sheet / 1983 re-release / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Mad Max
AKA
Interceptor (Italy)
Year of Film
1979
Director
George Miller
Starring
Mel Gibson, Steve Bisley, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Tim Burns, Geoff Parry
Origin of Film
Australia
Genre(s) of Film
Mel Gibson, Steve Bisley, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Tim Burns, Geoff Parry,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Concept Arts
Artist
Bill Garland
Size (inches)
27" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
80029
Tagline
The Maximum Force of the Future.

Mad Max / B2 / style B / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Mad Max
AKA
Interceptor (Italy)
Year of Film
1979
Director
George Miller
Starring
Mel Gibson, Steve Bisley, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Tim Burns, Geoff Parry
Origin of Film
Australia
Genre(s) of Film
Mel Gibson, Steve Bisley, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Tim Burns, Geoff Parry,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tom Beauvais (figure)
Size (inches)
20 7/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Mad Max / screen print / Billy Perkins / regular / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Mad Max
AKA
Interceptor (Italy)
Year of Film
1979
Director
George Miller
Starring
Mel Gibson, Steve Bisley, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Tim Burns, Geoff Parry
Origin of Film
Australia
Genre(s) of Film
Mel Gibson, Steve Bisley, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Tim Burns, Geoff Parry,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Billy Perkins
Artist
Billy Perkins
Size (inches)
23 10/16" x 35"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Mad Max 2 / one sheet / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Mad Max 2
AKA
The Road Warrior (USA) | Interceptor, il guerriero della strada (Italy)
Year of Film
1981
Director
George Miller
Starring
Mel Gibson, Michael Preston, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells, Kjell Nilsson, Virginia Hey, Emil Minty
Origin of Film
Australia
Genre(s) of Film
Mel Gibson, Michael Preston, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells, Kjell Nilsson, Virginia Hey, Emil Minty,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
International
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Rudy Obrero
Size (inches)
27" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Just one man can make a difference

Mad Max 2 / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Mad Max 2
AKA
The Road Warrior (USA) | Interceptor, il guerriero della strada (Italy)
Year of Film
1981
Director
George Miller
Starring
Mel Gibson, Michael Preston, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells, Kjell Nilsson, Virginia Hey, Emil Minty
Origin of Film
Australia
Genre(s) of Film
Mel Gibson, Michael Preston, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells, Kjell Nilsson, Virginia Hey, Emil Minty,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
George Miller, George Ogilvie
Starring
Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Adam Cockburn, Tina Turner, Frank Thring, Angelo Rossitto, Paul Larsson, Angry Anderson, Robert Grubb, George Spartels, Edwin Hodgeman
Origin of Film
Australia | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Adam Cockburn, Tina Turner, Frank Thring, Angelo Rossitto, Paul Larsson, Angry Anderson, Robert Grubb, George Spartels, Edwin Hodgeman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Richard Amsel
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A lone warrior searching for his destiny...a tribe of lost children waiting for a hero...in a world battling to survive, they face a woman determined to rule. Hold out for Mad Max this is his greatest adventure.

Mad Max / quad / UK

17.12.12

Poster Poster
Title
Mad Max
AKA
Interceptor (Italy)
Year of Film
1979
Director
George Miller
Starring
Mel Gibson, Steve Bisley, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Tim Burns, Geoff Parry
Origin of Film
Australia
Genre(s) of Film
Mel Gibson, Steve Bisley, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Tim Burns, Geoff Parry,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Tom Beauvais
Artist
Tom Beauvais
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The last law in a world gone out of control. Pray he's out there somewhere.

George Miller‘s brilliant vision of an apocalyptic future set in the Australian wastelands follows the battle between vicious outlaw gangs and a group of Main Force Patrol (MFP) pursuit cops who try to keep law and order on the roads. When officer Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson in his breakout role) kills the ‘Nightrider’, the leader of a motorcycle gang, he sets in motion a chain of events that sees his wife and young son murdered and his partner burned alive. Driven mad by grief, Max commandeers a supercharged black Pursuit Special and sets out to avenge their deaths by whatever means necessary. The film was followed three years later by the superior Mad Max 2 (AKA The Road Warrior).

Because of Gibson’s anonymity to audiences outside Australia his face was not featured on many of the posters designed to sell the film in other territories. The American one sheet features a classic illustration of a leather-clad figure with his face covered by a futuristic visor. This British quad features an MFP figure pointing a shotgun directly at the viewer but it’s not obviously Mel Gibson’s character. The car below the figure is a hybrid between the colourful Interceptor cop vehicles and Max’s black Pursuit.

The poster was designed and illustrated by Tom Beauvais, a British artist with a lengthy career working in film marketing which saw him design and/or illustrate several notable posters, including the quad for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and the infamous ‘rotten hand bursting from the ground’ image for Lucio Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters.

This UK quad was designed and illustrated by Tom Beauvais, a British artist with a lengthy career working in film marketing which saw him design and/or illustrate several notable posters, including the quad for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and the infamous ‘rotten hand bursting from the ground’ image for Lucio Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters. In 2012 I was lucky enough to meet and interview Tom and the article can be read here. The Mad Max poster was discussed during the meeting:

———

You worked on one of my favourite film posters at the end of the 1970s, which is the one for Mad Max. Could you talk about designing that?
On that one we were working to a brief from Julian Senior at Warner Bros and he told us he wanted a policeman looking down the twin-barrels of a shotgun. I did an initial sketch of the figure with the car below and he responded really well to it. The praise was generous and I think it was probably because it had been his idea originally. I actually think that Mike Sparling, who I mentioned earlier, was used as a reference model for the policeman.

It’s a striking poster and made even more impressive by the fact that the illustration isn’t crowded out by too much text. It’s effective partly because it’s so minimal.

———

The poster is quite difficult to photograph well because it’s printed on a paper with a kind of silver metallic finish and so any reflections or bends in the paper are very obvious. It’s a difficult quad to find rolled and so I was very happy to track this pristine copy down earlier this year.

As well as this quad there was UK one sheet printed for the title that was designed by Beauvais and features the same artwork. The quad is also part of the Film on Paper collection and it can be viewed here.

Creepers / video / UK

02.04.15

Poster Poster

This is the UK video poster for the release of Italian horror maestro Dario Argento‘s Creepers, which was a heavily cut version (over 30 minutes missing!) of his 1985 film that was released as Phenomena in Italy and elsewhere. The film stars a young Jennifer Connelly as Jennifer Corvino, the daughter of a famous actor, who is sent to study at a Swiss boarding school in an area where a series of grizzly murders have taken place. Jennifer suffers from sleepwalking and also discovers she has the ability to telepathically communicate with insects. Eventually she puts this skill to use for an investigation into the murders, aided by local forensic entomologist John McGregor (Donald Pleasence). The film also stars Argento’s long-time partner Daria Nicolodi as Jennifer’s chaperone Frau Brückner and mother of a boy who has connections to the spate of deaths.

This poster was painted by the renowned British artist Graham Humphreys and we discussed the poster when I interviewed him about his career in 2011. The excerpt is below:

—————

You ended up doing a lot of work for Palace, obviously they were Palace Video at the time and they had a huge catalogue that they were distributing. There’s a great bit of artwork you did for Dario Argento’s Creepers – the psychotic chimp.
Yep, the cheeky chimp. They told me that they had this Dario Argento film and at that time I was quite naive and didn’t know who Argento was, having not seen Suspiria or any of those great films. I had the full uncut VHS copy of Creepers, or Phenomena, and it just blew me away. I thought it was fantastic and thoroughly distasteful, plus Donald Pleasance’s awful accent made it quite funny as well. They said ‘do something, whatever you want’ and I showed them the sketch – I had one idea – and they said ‘yep, this is it. Go for it.’

The blade-wielding chimp was an image that had stuck in your mind from the film?
Yes. They used it for a poster as well, for a limited cinema release of the film. If you were releasing a film on VHS you’d give it more kudos if you could say that it had been released theatrically. It would be a big selling point on the sales sheet if it said ‘released in cinemas’ and all you had to do was show it one screen for a couple of days and that was enough.

Ah, so it might have been that this was actually the first release of Creepers in the UK, direct onto VHS with a quick cinema release?
The VHS was released and for one week only it appeared in one or two cinemas, only in London. Actually, it might have just been the Prince Charles Cinema. The chimp design would have been fly-posted as well.

—————-

Check out the other posters I’ve collected that were designed and illustrated by Graham by clicking here. You can read the Film on Paper exclusive interview with Graham by clicking here.

Graham’s official website can be seen here.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master / double crown / UK

17.06.15

Poster Poster

When the fourth film in the ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ franchise (subtitled The Dream Master) was released in the UK it happened to be up against the latest James Bond entry, Licence to Kill, at the box office. Palace Pictures had been handling the British distribution of the horror franchise since the first film and had worked with the same artist, Graham Humphreys, to produce unique poster designs for the market. When it came to promoting The Dream Master Graham produced a unique quad for use in cinema lobbies and on billboards, but he also had the idea of creating a small run of double crowns that spoofed the iconic James Bond gun barrel opening sequence created by Maurice Binder and first seen in Dr No (1962).

When I interviewed Graham in 2011 for this site he explained how that came about and where the poster was used. Here’s an excerpt:

—————-

So it was often the case that you wouldn’t know what it was going to look like until you printed it?
No, everything was an experiment. This poster could have been so much different as well though. The stained glass from the final scene in the church was good for me because it was a lovely device that meant I could use the large silhouette [of Freddy]. I also thought it was interesting because at that point the face was so familiar so we could take it dark again; we know who he is. We also did the cheeky James Bond spoof poster.

Ah, you were involved with that?
I was, it was my idea.

For folks who haven’t seen it it’s the classic James Bond silhouette from the title sequence where he shoots and the blood drips down, but with Freddy in Bond’s place. The tag-line is ‘The name’s Krueger…Freddy Krueger’. There was some talk of that poster being withdrawn?
It was, within a week. The new James Bond film was about to come out and that was why we did it anyway. They’re very protective of that image, of course, and they said they’d sue if we didn’t take it down. It was fly-posted on the underground for a little while. I’d gone to the folks at Palace and said I’ve got this great idea for a teaser for Elm Street 4 and brought along a VHS tape [of a Bond film] which I put on and freeze-framed at that moment where he turns around and fires the gun. They said ‘great!’ and that was that.

Was that always the case with Palace, that they’d be happy to try things like that?
Oh yes, completely.

———–

To see the other posters I’ve collected by Graham click here and read the exclusive interview with the artist here.

A Nightmare On Elm Street / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
A Nightmare On Elm Street
AKA
Nightmare dal profondo della notte [Nightmare from the depths of the night] (Italy)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Wes Craven
Starring
John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Graham Humphreys
Artist
Graham Humphreys
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Sleep kills

Iconic design and illustration on this UK quad for the film that started the successful Freddy Krueger franchise, featuring artwork by the British designer and artist Graham Humphreys. When I interviewed him about his career in 2011 I asked about the design for the poster and the excerpt from the interview is below:

I wanted to move onto another poster that’s many people’s favourite for the film, and that’s your design for A Nightmare on Elm Street. That was another one for Palace Pictures?
It was shortly after the Evil Dead. I wasn’t commissioned directly, it was through a couple of friends of mine who had set up a design company and they were working with Palace. The company was called Red Ranch. I’d been at college with one of the guys. They got on very well with Palace Pictures and they were given this project. They realised it was going to be an illustration and they were very happy to use me. I was able to do the logo for the poster as well.

Can you talk about the design of the poster?
There was an American flyer for the film that was essentially the street with four tears through it. I saw the film and knew what I was going to do. I’d actually gone along to a screening with my friend, Phil Nutman, who I’ve since given this to [Graham points at the Evil Dead artwork] so I’d already seen it at the cinema before I was given a VHS copy. Anyway, I paused the VHS and took a photograph of Nancy’s face so I could draw that easily.

Freddy [Krueger] himself is actually silhouetted in the background. In the later posters he’s more prominent but on this first quad you don’t see anything, just the shadow and his glove.
I think they wanted the poster to look fairly classy, in comparison to the Evil Dead quad which shows exactly the type of film it is. Obviously the glove became iconic but at the time people had no clue who Freddy was. To me, it was the glove and the whole dreaming thing that was the interesting thing about the film. You’ve got the pretty girl, the glove and the dream-like urban setting, you don’t need the big ugly face leering at you. I hand lettered the title too.

There’s also a second painting which is in portrait format and features Freddy’s other hand reaching down below Nancy’s face.
Yes, I think I prefer this one. This was used for fly posting and was the VHS cover too. For some reason at that time no one would think about the whole different format thing. Everyone was always focusing on quad posters for underground advertising and cinema fronts. The 40×60 inches or bus stop format was very much an American thing, but then when cinema became more commercial we found we had to start doing that size and format.

Kindred / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Kindred
AKA
Anthony (Hungary / West Germany)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Stephen Carpenter, Jeffrey Obrow
Starring
David Allen Brooks, Rod Steiger, Amanda Pays, Talia Balsam, Kim Hunter, Timothy Gibbs, Peter Frechette, Julia Montgomery
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
David Allen Brooks, Rod Steiger, Amanda Pays, Talia Balsam, Kim Hunter, Timothy Gibbs, Peter Frechette, Julia Montgomery,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Graham Humphreys
Artist
Graham Humphreys
Size (inches)
29 15/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
John's got a half brother... half brother... half something else. | Some things are best left unborn.

A Nightmare On Elm Street / double crown / UK

28.04.14

Poster Poster
Title
A Nightmare On Elm Street
AKA
Nightmare dal profondo della notte [Nightmare from the depths of the night] (Italy)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Wes Craven
Starring
John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund,
Type of Poster
Double Crown
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Graham Humphreys
Artist
Graham Humphreys
Size (inches)
20 2/16" x 28 4/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Sleep kills

Iconic illustration features on this very scarce double crown (20″ x 30″) for the film that started the successful Freddy Krueger franchise, A Nightmare on Elm Street. The design and illustration was done by the celebrated British designer and artist Graham Humphreys and when I interviewed him about his career in 2011 I asked about his work on the film, which I’ve excerpted below. Note that the last paragraph deals with this double crown specifically and when compared to the quad poster you can see how it differs, particularly with the inclusion of Freddy’s hand reaching down the right side of the poster.

Here’s the section of the interview:

———————-

I wanted to move onto another poster that’s many people’s favourite for the film, and that’s your design for A Nightmare on Elm Street. That was another one for Palace Pictures?
It was shortly after the Evil Dead. I wasn’t commissioned directly, it was through a couple of friends of mine who had set up a design company and they were working with Palace. The company was called Red Ranch. I’d been at college with one of the guys. They got on very well with Palace Pictures and they were given this project. They realised it was going to be an illustration and they were very happy to use me. I was able to do the logo for the poster as well.

Can you talk about the design of the poster?
There was an American flyer for the film that was essentially the street with four tears through it. I saw the film and knew what I was going to do. I’d actually gone along to a screening with my friend, Phil Nutman, who I’ve since given this to [Graham points at the Evil Dead artwork] so I’d already seen it at the cinema before I was given a VHS copy. Anyway, I paused the VHS and took a photograph of Nancy’s face so I could draw that easily.

Freddy [Krueger] himself is actually silhouetted in the background. In the later posters he’s more prominent but on this first quad you don’t see anything, just the shadow and his glove.
I think they wanted the poster to look fairly classy, in comparison to the Evil Dead quad which shows exactly the type of film it is. Obviously the glove became iconic but at the time people had no clue who Freddy was. To me, it was the glove and the whole dreaming thing that was the interesting thing about the film. You’ve got the pretty girl, the glove and the dream-like urban setting, you don’t need the big ugly face leering at you. I hand lettered the title too.

There’s also a second painting which is in portrait format and features Freddy’s other hand reaching down below Nancy’s face.
Yes, I think I prefer this one. This was used for fly posting and was the VHS cover too. For some reason at that time no one would think about the whole different format thing. Everyone was always focusing on quad posters for underground advertising and cinema fronts. The 40×60 inches or bus stop format was very much an American thing, but then when cinema became more commercial we found we had to start doing that size and format.

———————–

Check out the other posters I’ve collected that were designed and illustrated by Graham by clicking here. You can read the Film on Paper exclusive interview with Graham by clicking here.

Graham’s official website can be seen here.

Evil Dead II / quad / UK

21.09.12

Poster Poster
Title
Evil Dead II
AKA
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (USA title)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Sam Raimi
Starring
Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Danny Hicks, Kassie Wesley, Ted Raimi, Denise Bixler, Richard Domeier, John Peaks, Lou Hancock
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Danny Hicks, Kassie Wesley, Ted Raimi, Denise Bixler, Richard Domeier, John Peaks, Lou Hancock,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Graham Humphreys
Artist
Graham Humphreys
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
There's only one movie scarier than 'The Evil Dead'... | Kiss your nerves goodbye

Brilliant artwork by UK artist Graham Humphreys on this quad for the (superior IMO) sequel to Sam Raimi’s brilliant low-budget horror The Evil Dead. The films were a great success in the UK after the first was bought at the Cannes Film Festival by the legendary British distribution (and later production) company Palace Pictures. Released in cinemas and on VHS almost simultaneously the modest outlay for the rights to distribute the film proved to be an excellent deal as it went on to see great box-office takings and thousands of tapes sold. The first film was eventually caught up in the infamous video nasties debacle of the 1980s and was banned for a number of years under the Video Recordings Act.

The sequel, made six years later and technically a retcon sequel, was allotted a significantly larger budget than the first and is more of a black comedy than the original. Lead actor Bruce Campbell is put through a continually escalating series of horrific encounters that allow him to show the full extent of his talent for slapstick comedy.

Palace pictures bought the rights to distribute the second film and asked Graham Humphreys to design the quad and video artwork for it after his iconic design for the first film had proved so successful. When I interviewed the artist about his career in 2011 I asked him about the design for the poster and the excerpt from the interview is below:

What happened with the quad for Evil Dead II?
It was the same situation at Palace but I think Steve and Nik Powell were at the helm with this one, since the first film had been so succesful. They figured why change the formula. I guess the point was that the film was almost a remake of the first one, plus a bit extra and so that’s what going on here. A re-imagining of the first one.

In that documentary you talk about how you’d had another idea involving a clock.
Yeah, that was the whole thing about ‘dead by dawn’ and I had this pendulum and a blood-covered clock that looked fantstic. I was particularly influenced by Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu film because there’s a great clock in that, which is beautifully designed with a little skull. That’s really what I wanted to do. The idea was actually to build a physical clock, but I never got to make it. The guys thought it was a bit obscure. There was also going to be a ‘Pit and the Pendulum’-style swishing blade covered in blood and the title was going to be on that.

The feedback was to keep things simple and use the characters?
Yeah, we had the reel to reels on the first one and for this we had the book of the dead as the key element. There was some contention over whether we do the Roman numerals or the big number 2. To me it felt it should be classic looking with the numerals. I used a colour slide-set for the characters with only a few adjustments. I think I took a Polaroid of my hand to get the position right and a girl I was working with did the pose for me onto which I added the actresses head.

Do you prefer this one or the first film’s quad better?
I like the first one because it’s so raw and it captures the mood and music of the time for me. They’re two different animals really.
The full interview can be read here.

Check out these TV clips that were specially filmed in the UK to promote the film featuring Sam Raimi and English TV and radio (and film critic) Jonathan Ross

 

The Evil Dead / quad / UK

21.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Evil Dead
AKA
La casa [The house] (Italy) | Into the Woods (USA working title)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Sam Raimi
Starring
Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, Hal Delrich, Theresa Tilly
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, Hal Delrich, Theresa Tilly,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Graham Humphreys
Artist
Graham Humphreys
Size (inches)
30" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master / quad / UK

20.06.16

Poster Poster

This is the UK quad for the release of the fourth entry in the ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ franchise (subtitled The Dream Master). The film marked a big break for Finnish director Renny Harlin who admitted to heavily petitioning the film’s producer, and founder of New Line Cinema, Robert (Bob) Shaye for the job. Harlin had previously helmed a couple of low-budget flicks (Born American and Prison) but the box-office success of this film led to him being given the job of directing the Die Hard sequel in 1990. Sadly, his career stalled towards the end of that decade following a series of box-office bombs that included Cliffhanger and Cutthroat Island.

The fourth film followed on from one of the best entries in the franchise, 1987’s Dream Warriors, which was a marked improvement over the first sequel. This was thanks in part to the involvement of the first film’s Wes Craven, who had been absent from Part 2.

The Dream Master picks up a few months after the events of the third film and features characters that had last been seen in a mental hospital, but are now living at home and seemingly back to normal. Kirsten, previously played by Patricia Arquette and here by Tuesday Knight, has the ability to bring others into her dreams. When she senses Freddy is trying to return after being banished to hell at the end of Part 3, she contacts Kincaid (Ken Sagoes) and Joey (Rodney Eastman) to warn them not to dream about Freddy in case it causes his return.

Unfortunately, Kincaid fails to heed Kirsten’s warning and he falls asleep, dreaming of the car junkyard where Freddy’s bones were previously consecrated with holy water. His dog urinates on Freddy’s bones and this, for some bizarre reason, causes his resurrection whereupon he swiftly kills Kincaid. Freddy begins to terrorize Kirsten and her group of school friends and she realises she needs to pass on her powers to Alice before she too is killed. Freddy’s plan was to use Kirsten to move onto a new set of kids after he’s killed the original group (all children of the parents who murdered him before the events of the first film) and together this new gang must try to put an end to his nefarious plans once and for all.

———-

Palace Pictures had been handling the British distribution of the horror franchise since the first film and had worked with the same artist, Graham Humphreys, to produce unique poster designs for the UK market. When it came to promoting The Dream Master, Graham produced this quad and a larger 4-sheet (with alternate artwork) for use in cinema lobbies and on billboards. The quad features the stained glass window seen in a sequence involving a dilapidated church near the end of the film, as well as the Crave Inn diner where Alice works (its name is a not very subtle nod to the franchise’s creator).

When I interviewed Graham in 2011 for this site he talked the Elm Street posters and here’s an excerpt:

—————-

In 1987 it was back to an illustration for A Nightmare on Elm Street 4. It’s a great image with the ‘Crave Inn Diner’ and the stained glass featuring Freddy in silhouette. Can you remember why they went back to illustration for this?
I think by that time they just felt that they were flogging a dead horse with the Nightmare on Elm Street films. They said ‘take a look at the film and do what you want’. My idea was to do a postcard idea, ‘Greetings from hell’, and unfortunately without a computer it’s very hard to understand how stuff’s going to look when it’s actually printed. So for example with the Evil Dead you’ll notice that the copy line at the top is very hard to read because, tonally, the orange disappears against the purple. Given a computer there are all sorts of things I could have done, like a drop shadow or a glow behind it.

So it was often the case that you wouldn’t know what it was going to look like until you printed it?
No, everything was an experiment. This poster could have been so much different as well though. The stained glass from the final scene in the church was good for me because it was a lovely device that meant I could use the large silhouette [of Freddy]. I also thought it was interesting because at that point the face was so familiar so we could take it dark again; we know who he is. We also did the cheeky James Bond spoof poster.

Ah, you were involved with that?
I was, it was my idea.

 

———————

Graham also had the idea of creating a small run of double crowns that spoofed the iconic James Bond gun barrel opening sequence created by Maurice Binder and first seen in Dr No (1962). This was because The Dream Master was being released up against The Living Daylights, the latest entry in the long-running spy franchise. The resulting poster can be seen here.

To see the other posters I’ve collected by Graham click here and read the exclusive interview with the artist here.

The Monster Club / quad / UK

30.11.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Monster Club
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Roy Ward Baker
Starring
Vincent Price, Donald Pleasence, John Carradine, Stuart Whitman, Richard Johnson, Barbara Kellerman, Britt Ekland, Simon Ward, Anthony Valentine, Patrick Magee, Anthony Steel
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Vincent Price, Donald Pleasence, John Carradine, Stuart Whitman, Richard Johnson, Barbara Kellerman, Britt Ekland, Simon Ward, Anthony Valentine, Patrick Magee, Anthony Steel,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Graham Humphreys
Artist
Graham Humphreys
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
You'll meet some interesting people and hear some great songs at The Monster Club

The horror anthology The Monster Club was produced by ex-Amicus co-owner Milton Subotsky and was the final feature film from director Roy Ward Baker. Subotsky had seen great success as one half of Amicus (his partner was the screenwriter Max Rosenberg) with the release of several ‘portmanteau’ horrors, including three directed by genre stalwart Freddie FrancisDr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1964), Torture Garden (1967) and Tales from the Crypt (1972). Roy Ward Baker is best remembered for his work on the Titanic film A Night to Remember (1958) and several successful horror films for one of Amicus’ rival studios, Hammer, including the excellent Quatermass and the Pit (1967) and Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1972). Baker directed a handful of horrors for Amicus, including the anthologies Asylum (1972) and The Vault of Horror (1973), as well as the ghost story And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973).

The Monster Club features American horror legend Vincent Price as the vampire Eramus who bumps into the horror writer R.Chetwynd-Hayes (played by the prolific John Carradine) and feasts on his blood but ‘doesn’t bite deep enough’ to turn him into one of his own. Eramus then invites the writer to visit the titular club claiming that he’s sure it will offer plenty of inspiration as it’s home to all manner of werewolves, ghouls, beasts and other assorted creatures (read: extras in hastily prepared rubber masks). What follows is three fairly dull horror stories featuring several notable actors (Donald PleasenceRichard Johnson and Britt Ekland) but it’s the surrounding sequences in the club itself that are more interesting with a handful of catchy musical numbers and one memorable sequence in which a stripper takes everything off, including her skin (via a shadowy animation).

The poster was designed and painted by the brilliant British illustrator Graham Humphreys. Because it wasn’t a poster we discussed during our 2011 interview I wanted to speak to Graham to hear the story of the making of this poster in more detail. The interview with Graham can be read here.

Deep Space / quad / UK

25.07.13

Poster Poster
Title
Deep Space
AKA
L'invasion des cocons (France)
Year of Film
1988
Director
Fred Olen Ray
Starring
Charles Napier, Ann Turkel, Bo Svenson, Ron Glass, Julie Newmar, James Booth, Norman Burton, Jesse Dabson, Elisabeth Brooks
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Napier, Ann Turkel, Bo Svenson, Ron Glass, Julie Newmar, James Booth, Norman Burton, Jesse Dabson, Elisabeth Brooks,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Graham Humphreys
Artist
Graham Humphreys
Size (inches)
29 15/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
They created a monster over lunch. Now it's back for dinner... | The slime just hit the fan.

A classic piece of Graham Humphreys artwork for the British release of the forgettable 1988 sci-fi clunker Deep Space, It’s something of a miracle that the film even saw the inside of a cinema and there’s no question that it would be straight to video if it were to be released today. The film was directed, written and produced by the prolific schlockmeister Fred Olen Ray (check out the profile pic), who was also responsible for the likes of ScalpsHollywood Chainsaw Hookers (released the same year) and recent TV movies including Super Ninja Bikini Babes.

A homage rip-off of films like Alien, Terminator and even elements of the original Evil Dead, the story sees a top secret military satellite containing a biological weapon crashing to earth and unleashing the deadly cargo on a Los Angles suburb. To the rescue comes a pair of unlikely cops (Charles Napier and Ron Glass) who have to try to stop the monster. The cribbing from other better films is so blatant that there’s even a scene directly mirroring the death of Harry Dean Stanton in Alien, plus a moment where a lead character chainsaws the alien’s head, covering his face in blood ala Ash from Evil Dead.

This British quad, which is unquestionably better than the film it’s selling, was designed and painted by Humphreys for the British distributor Entertainment in Video and was briefly discussed during the interview I conducted with the artist in 2011:

————-

The quad for Kindred, which is also from 1987, is pretty outrageous.
You’re left in no doubt as to what kind of film it’s going to be!

It was one of those VHS covers that stood out as soon as you went in the rental shop. This was for Entertainment?
This was through a design company and they’d been instructed to use me because of the work I’d done on Evil Dead. They gave me the layout and design and just told me to illustrate it. I remember at the time I’d showed somebody my portfolio and they’d said “well it’s interesting, but there are lots of screaming faces with dribbly bits!”

Talking of dribbly bits there’s Deep Space, which is 1988.
Yeah, the big scary vagina with teeth. I think that was for the same client as Kindred, hence the similar design.

————–

To see the other posters I’ve collected by Graham click here. The full film can be found on YouTube if you want to subject yourself to it.

Eraserhead / screen print / Mark Pedini / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Eraserhead / B2 / Japan

09.07.12

Poster Poster

Legendary director David Lynch‘s surreal nightmare Eraserhead celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2012 and its fair to say cinema has seen nothing else quite like it in the years since it was released. Lynch’s first full-length feature was five years in the making and was begun whilst he worked at the American Film Institute school in Los Angeles. The initial grant of $10,000 given to the director quickly ran out and he was forced to spend the following years using money from odd jobs, as well as donations from friends and family to continue work on it.

Ben Barenholtz, the owner of Libra films saw the completed film at the Filmex Festival and, after declaring it was a ‘film of the future’, decided to help Lynch get the film into cinemas. The first screening took place at midnight on the 29th of September, 1977 and, like Jodorowsky’s El Topo before it, Eraserhead became a staple of Midnight Movie shows in Los Angeles, New York and London.

This Japanese poster is from the first release of the film, which took place in 1981, and features an image of the ‘baby’ with its head wrapped in bandages. This particular copy of the poster isn’t in the best of condition, as should be obvious from the pictures, but I think it quite suits the nature of the film.

Having just watched the recent UK blu-ray release of the film, which was apparently supervised by Lynch, I can highly recommend picking up a copy of it as the film has never looked or, perhaps more importantly, sounded as good.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Eraserhead / B2 / 1993 re-release / Japan

09.07.12

Poster Poster
Title
Eraserhead
AKA
Labyrinth Man (France - reissue title)
Year of Film
1977
Director
David Lynch
Starring
Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph, Jeanne Bates, Judith Roberts, Laurel Near, V. Phipps-Wilson, Jack Fisk, Jean Lange, Thomas Coulson, John Monez, Darwin Joston, T. Max Graham, Hal Landon Jr.
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph, Jeanne Bates, Judith Roberts, Laurel Near, V. Phipps-Wilson, Jack Fisk, Jean Lange, Thomas Coulson, John Monez, Darwin Joston, T. Max Graham, Hal Landon Jr.,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Mylar re-release
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1993
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 7/16" x 28 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
In Heaven Everything Is Fine.

Legendary director David Lynch‘s brilliant, surreal nightmare Eraserhead celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2012 and its fair to say cinema has seen nothing else quite like it in the years since it was released. Lynch’s first full-length feature was five years in the making and was begun whilst he worked at the American Film Institute school in Los Angeles. The initial grant of $10,000 given to the director quickly ran out and he was forced to spend the following years using money from odd jobs, as well as donations from friends and family to continue work on it.

Ben Barenholtz, the owner of Libra films saw the completed film at the Filmex Festival and, after declaring it was a ‘film of the future’, decided to help Lynch get the film into cinemas. The first screening took place at midnight on the 29th of September, 1977 and, like Jodorowsky’s El Topo before it, Eraserhead became a staple of Midnight Movie shows in Los Angeles, New York and London.

This Japanese poster is from a 1993 re-release of the film and features the classic shot of Henry (Jack Nance) with his worried stare and great shock of hair. The poster was printed on mirrored mylar paper and is therefore very hard to photograph without capturing lots of reflections.

Having just watched the recent UK blu-ray release of the film, which was apparently supervised by Lynch, I can highly recommend picking up a copy of it as the film has never looked or, perhaps more importantly, sounded as good.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Graham Humphreys on the making of The Monster Club quad

30.11.12

After adding the British quad for The Monster Club to the site, I wanted to speak to its designer and illustrator Graham Humphreys about its creation. The poster wasn’t one that we discussed during our 2011 interview and I felt it deserved this ‘making of’ article.

The British quad for The Monster Club, designed and painted by Graham Humphreys

The British quad for The Monster Club, designed and painted by Graham Humphreys

Hi Graham, thanks for agreeing to talk about the poster. First of all, is it true this was the first film poster you ever worked on?
Yes, although in retrospect it was perhaps a bit bit of a false start!

How did you get involved with it?
The client was another random name on a list of people I went to see whilst I was starting out (film distributors, etc) and within two weeks of showing them my folio (my college folder, one of those basic cardboard versions tied by string!), this project turned up. I can’t remember who the company was – though they were one of the big distributors and it was at a time when everything was ‘in house’, ie. they had their own design studio.

What kind of brief were you initially given?
They called me in for a meeting and showed me a series of 35mm transparencies (pre-digital of course) and a drawing of the layout required, which specifically featured a title treatment that had to be copied. So my illustration was merely to flesh out the sketch to full artwork. I was offered the pick of transparencies which were then made into photographic prints that I could use as direct refrence. I had about a week and a half in which to deliver the painting.

The British quad for The Monster Club, designed and painted by Graham Humphreys

The British quad for The Monster Club, designed and painted by Graham Humphreys

I understand that the first version of the poster was rejected – what did it look like compared to the final printed version?
My original version had blue hues to give it a midnight feel. I spent time carefully making the Vincent Price portrait as true as possible. I took a full week to complete the painting working exclusively on the project. A few days after delivery I had a phone call informing me that it had been rejected and would I come in for a meeting. Apparently it was considered to ‘adult’ and ‘scary’. It had been hoped that kids would see the film as well, but the marketing people thought I had produced a ‘horror’ poster. It would have been futile to argue that a film called ‘The Monster Club’ starring Vincent Price and John Carradine, produced by Milton Subotsky, might already have appeared ‘genre’! However, the client, ‘being right’, were happy to let me repaint the illustration as ‘happier’ more colourful, daytime and ‘not scary’, but I had two days.

So I worked two days and two nights (including a visit from the client mid-way to check on progress) until I was a sleep deprived, hallucinating wreck. The painting was rushed and needed another two days, but the deadline was set. The job was delivered, approved and I got paid extra money and slept for a full 24 hours after.

What happened to the artwork for the first version of the poster?
I’ve been racking my brains and I can only conclude that I gave the original version to a friend who has since passed away and thus I will never see the painting again. We lost touch and apparently he became alcoholic and died penniless – I had no idea until recently but it’s a sad tale.

Close up detail of The Monster Club quad artwork by Graham Humphreys

Close up detail of The Monster Club quad artwork by Graham Humphreys

Did you have fun painting the various creatures?
No, I had been shown images from the film and clearly most of the club members are wearing hastily prepared rubber masks, there was no license to be creative with the heads.

They must have liked the poster as the painting was used on a number of international posters as well as multiple VHS covers?
I suspect that this was more to do with budget. Clearly the film was intended to be supplied with a full supporting poster campaign as a package. This is why the marketing department were being so particular. This was an international poster, not domestic. The photo of the original painting shows that the main image descends further in order to facillitate the international format. Only the UK would have got the full width quad version.

Were you happy with the final result?
Absolutely not!

'Elvira presents...' - a VHS cover for the film released by Thriller Video - image taken from Bloodsprayer.com

‘Elvira presents…’ – a VHS cover for the film released by Thriller Video – image taken from Bloodsprayer.com

Did this poster help you secure your next job?
Whilst working on ‘The Monster Club’, the same distributor offered me ‘The Funhouse’ and, after supplying initial sketches, the job suddenly changed and was then a double bill with ‘My Bloody Valentine’. So all my ideas for a quad format poster had to adapt to a tall verticle format. Still smarting from the first poster, I was cautious with the imagery and in retrospect should have taken it much further.

Thanks for taking the time to speak to me about the poster, it’s much appreciated.

– Graham’s official website can be viewed here.
– This site’s 2011 interview with Graham is available here.
– The other posters I’ve collected that were designed and painted by Graham can be viewed by clicking here.

Dances With Wolves / Thailand

12.11.15

Poster Poster
Title
Dances With Wolves
AKA
Der mit dem Wolf tanzt (Germany)
Year of Film
1990
Director
Kevin Costner
Starring
Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
23 15/16" x 34 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

It’s hard to believe it’s now 25 years since Kevin Costner’s epic western Dances with Wolves was first released, and whilst it’s easy to be sniffy about later efforts like Waterworld (1995) and The Postman (1997 – also directed by him), this film still stands up as a memorable and touching story of the end of the Wild West and of the Native American’s interaction with The White People whose journey across the country would ultimately prove disastrous for so many tribes. Set during the Civil War, it tells the story of Lieutenant Dunbar (Costner) who actively seeks exile at a lonely frontier outpost and follows his experiences as he copes with the harsh climate, lack of supplies and dealings with the local Indians. Eventually he adapts to life on the frontier and begins to earn the trust of the tribes, but it’s not long before the war, and other less friendly Native Americans, challenge his newfound identity.

This Thai poster features excellent artwork by Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) who was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s but I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947. If anyone has any more information please get in touch. Note that this is larger than the standard Thai poster size of around 21″ x 31″.

To see the other posters I’ve collected that were painted by Tongdee click here.